He played cricket, for it was his first love, even if it meant “losing seven jobs” in native Barbados because of his commitment to the game. But Franklyn Stephenson was lost to official cricket when he went on a tour of South Africa and invited scorn and banishment back home in the Caribbean.
Thirty years have passed since that ‘rebel’ tour that included names like Lawrence Rowe and Alvin Kallicharan. As far as Stephenson — a hard-hitting batsman and fast bowler with a huge impact on the game and opposition — is concerned, his cricket was never over.
An aggregate of 8,622 runs and 792 wickets from 219 first-class matches did not help him earn a Test cap.
The ban for playing in South Africa in 1982-83 was lifted in 1989, but Stephenson, at 30, was ignored by the National selectors.
Speaking to The Hindu, Stephenson said he had “no regrets” of undertaking that tour to the land of apartheid.
“I belatedly agreed to join a team that had many players who were finishing their careers and wanted to collect some money.”
Keywords: Franklyn Stephenson. rebel tour